One week from today is Giving Tuesday, a concept created by Henry Timms, Executive Director of the 92nd Street Y, to remind Americans of the real meaning of Thanksgiving: showing thanks for our blessings by helping others in need through giving to charities. The nonprofit sector has made progress in popularizing Giving Tuesday, and much work needs to be done in the future.
On November 23, the John Templeton Foundation released the results of a study, conducted by Edelman Berland, on the consumer mentality takeover of the Thanksgiving holiday. 93% of Americans are familiar with Black Friday – the biggest shopping day of the year in terms of activity (Cyber Monday, first coined in 2005 by Shop.org, may have overtaken Black Friday in dollars spent – but that is another conversation). Yet only 18% of Americans are familiar with Giving Tuesday.
The study revealed fascinating results on the relationship between giving and happiness. People who classify as generous (donating time or money) are happier and more satisfied with their lives than people who are not generous – 49% vs. 33%. Good news for charities: the Templeton study also revealed those who daily expressed their gratitude give more than those who do not – $468 vs. $319.
So what is the point of sharing findings from a study? Most charities have implemented their Giving Tuesday communication programs. Focus the same amount of energy into thanking, thanking, and thanking those new donors who consciously choose your organization with a gift. Donor retention is a huge problem in our sector, as noted in previous posts. And most of the reasons why donors leave is within the control of charities.
Consider a Retention Wednesday. Make that prompt, PERSONAL phone call to the donor – this is a proven way to involve board members who may be reticent about solicitation. Tell the donor how that gift will benefit the mission (are your talking points ready?). Invite that donor to get involved in a facet of your organization – show a real appreciation and interest in his/her story!
Giving Tuesday is an excellent way to motivate a prospect to take the final step and become a donor. Retention Wednesday can prove most beneficial in turning that donor into an investor in your charity’s future. #GivingTuesday #RetentionWednesday